Continuing with the awesomeness we had last week, episodes 9 and 10 of “Hyde Jekyll, Me” were full of twists and surprises. I really like the trajectory we are on where things are developing quickly and raising the stakes in all areas: drama, romance, suspense, friendship, etc.
These are the 5 things I loved about “Hyde Jekyll, Me” this week.
1. Ha Na to the Rescue
Ha Na (Han Ji Min) is great because she’s a balanced character. I love that she’s strong without being one note. Often times K-dramas paint strong heroines as being incredibly forceful and domineering… and that’s it. As if any sort of weakness would take away from their strong image. Or, they go the other route and make a heroine a “weak” character who suddenly finds her strength at the moment of critical importance, and saves the day. But in both cases, these heroines are largely unchanged for most of the drama; they are characterized by either their strengths or weaknesses.
But Ha Na is so interesting to me because she’s both. She knows when to push for what she wants without being overbearing, yet she also knows how to treat a situation with great sensitivity, knows when to back off and not push. Backing down doesn’t mean she’s weak. Standing up for what she wants at any cost isn’t all she is either. And for her, she has had flashes of bravery and also of weakness, and she doesn’t try to mask, dismiss, or apologize for them.
So when we see Ha Na coming in to be Seo Jin (Hyun Bin)’s savior, the one who doesn’t abandon him, it’s a great moment because we also know that, even as she’s courageously jumping through fire to reach him, she’s not a super hero, that she’s not like Robin, that she’s terrified. I absolutely love that we see Ha Na being hesitant, scared, and doubtful. And that makes her so relatable to us.
I just loved that Ha Na was the one who came to the rescue this week, because not all heroines need rescuing.
2. The Sensitive Baddie
We all knew Sung Joon would be awesome as the big bad, and he hasn’t let us down! Him being the real bad guy is, by far, like leaps and bounds and lightyears far, more compelling and layered and interesting than that fake/mind-jacked baddie.
Not only is it totally creepy how he can go from revengeful psychopath to caring psychiatrist at the drop of a hat, which, by the way, Sung Joon pulls off so well with his crazy face but also his sensitive face, but, y’all he has a super power! He can hypnotize you with just his voice, and get you to do his evil bidding with just a snap of his fingers. He can mess with your mind and your memories, and he’ll do it with that devastating and unassuming smile of his! If that’s not a truly dangerous evil mastermind, I don’t know what is.
But more than that, I love what the writers have done with his character and I love, absolutely love, how Sung Joon has just elevated the entire role. He brings so much nuance to it, and tell me I wasn’t the only one whose heart clenched in their chest over suddenly finding myself feeling sad and actually pitying him. Him, the bad guy! But this is this kind of characterization that I go weak in the knees for because, geez, he’s kind of right.
Okay, maybe not right in the sense of kidnapping and attempting to murder Jang Ha Na, but his motives for acting out against Seo Jin, if memory serves–and in this case we can’t trust anyone, seem justified. He was abandoned. He was betrayed. And if Seo Jin is a pitiful character for his suffering and loneliness, then Lee Soo Hyun all the more. In his world, he’s not the crazy one. He’s the victim. And Seo Jin deserves this punishment.
It is delicious characterization and I want more to sink my teeth in.
3. Goo Seo Jin, Protector (?)
Thank you, drama.
In the earlier episodes of “Hyde Jekyll, Me,” when the drama spent a long time setting up Seo Jin’s selfish and self-preserving character–pushing women toward raging gorillas, hiding behind his security team, throwing Ha Na towards a maybe killer, I ranted at length about how much I hated these examples because it made Seo Jin unlikable and unsympathetic, almost to the point where I, as a viewer, couldn’t get behind his character. How did this drama expect me to support a character like that? I mean, honestly, they were asking for a lot.
Thankfully, the writers did a much better job at pulling Seo Jin back from the edge, and making his character worthy of our sympathy. And I was feeling a lot better about him until he was put to the test. In a life-or-death situation, where there could only be one survivor, who would he chose, himself or Jang Ha Na?
I’m not going to lie, I felt a flair of old anger rise up in me as Seo Jin hesitated over saving himself or Ha Na. My fists clenched as I mentally screamed at him that he better save her, you jerk! I’m glad that my faith in him wasn’t for nothing.
Seo Jin is an incredibly, like, monumentally, flawed character, and the moment when he chooses Ha Na over himself is one that is profoundly important for his development. We get a hint that there is real change happening in him, and that resonates dramatically with what’s to come with him and the other characters in the drama. We are on the path to something big, people!
4. Seo Jin Takes Robin Up on His Offer
Speaking of something big, I haven’t been shy about voicing my opinion on how invested I am in Seo Jin and Robin’s relationship in “Hyde Jekyll, Me,” and just how much I was anticipating the moment, after Robin offered to reconcile with Seo Jin, to try and be there for his other half (aww), when Seo Jin would meet Robin halfway and accept the offered help.
It would take something as dramatic as, oh I don’t know, being almost gassed to death in the place where you experienced the most traumatic event of your life, with the woman who may or may not be the key to your sanity in your arms, for Seo Jin to reach out to Robin, but so be it. It was such a desperate plea for help, and a significant part of it, I think, was for Ha Na’s sake as well as his own, and the broken way that Seo Jin wishes for Robin is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. In my head, I can’t help but see them as “brothers” rather than distinct personalities inhabiting the same body, and there’s really nothing I want more than for them to reconcile.
At the same time, Seo Jin knows, he knows, that he himself is powerless, that he’s reached the very limit of his capability, and yet he also knows that he still has courage and bravery left in him…in the form of Robin. And he trusts that Robin would know what to do in that situation, knows that Robin would find a way, that Robin could save him.
I loved this moment between Seo Jin and Robin, and I’m looking forward for more of them!
5.Who Are You?
I am all about Ha Ha finally putting the pieces together and asking the big question! She’s been incredibly patient with Robin all this time, but when she sees the cast on Seo Jin’s arm, the injury she was sure belonged to Robin, she can’t help but put the question out there. And geez, the look that Seo Jin gives Ha Na in that moment, like she’s his everything and that he doesn’t want to hide things from her anymore…YES.
I am so excited for this next development! Don’t let me down, drama!
Well, that’s it for me this week and the 5 things I loved about “Hyde Jekyll, Me.” Let me know your favorite moments form this week’s episodes in the comments below.
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